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Two Views on the Doctrine of the Trinity (Counterpoints)

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The doctrine of the Trinity stands front and center of the Christian faith and its articulation. After a sustained drought of trinitarian engagement, the doctrine of the Trinity has increasingly resurged to the forefront of Evangelical confession. The second half of the twentieth century, however, saw a different kind of trinitarian theology developing, giving way to what has commonly been referred to as the “social Trinity.”

In this volume, leading contributors—one evangelical and one mainline/catholic representing each view—establish their models and approaches to the doctrine of the Trinity, each highlighting the strengths of his view in order to argue how it best reflects the orthodox perspective. In order to facilitate a genuine debate and to make sure that the key issues are teased out, each contributor addresses the same questions regarding their trinitarian methodology, doctrine, and its implications.

Save more when you purchase this book as part of the Zondervan Counterpoint Series.

Resource Experts
  • Provides numerous perspectives on the doctrine of the Trinity
  • Compares and critique multiple distinct views
  • Includes contributions from a diverse assortment of distinguished scholars and theologians
  • “Classical Trinity: Evangelicalism Perspective” by Stephen R. Holmes
  • “Classical Trinity: Catholic Perspective” by Paul D. Molnar
  • “Relational Trinity: Creedal Perspective” by Thomas H. McCall
  • “Relational Trinity: Radical Perspective” by Paul S. Fiddes

Top Highlights

“So, here is the first point from the biblical texts: the doctrine of the Trinity is an attempt to speak about the relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit that makes sense of the church’s worship, and that is responsible to the radical call to monolatry in the Old Testament.” (Page 34)

“What we call ‘the doctrine of the Trinity’ is, I suggest, a formal set of conceptualities developed like this: a set of conceptualities that finally allowed (or at least was believed to allow) every text to be read adequately. As such, it is not a ‘biblical doctrine’ in the sense of being the result of exegesis; rather, it is a set of things that need to be believed if we are to be able to do exegesis adequately as we hold to the truth of every text of Scripture. The doctrine of the Trinity is a conceptual framework that allows us to read every biblical text (concerning God’s life) with due seriousness, but without discovering contradictions between them.” (Page 35)

“Words like ‘person’ and ‘relation’ in particular have been redefined from their original, metaphysical meanings to some supposedly radical new ontological claims in the doctrine of the Trinity—the ‘social Trinity.’” (Page 28)

“, simplicity is not primarily a claim about Father, Son, and Spirit but a claim about God’s life.” (Page 40)

“The church knew from its birth, it seems, that offering worship to Jesus is not incompatible with exclusive loyalty to God. The doctrine of the Trinity is a set of conceptual distinctions and definitions that offer a theological account of the divine life that made sense of these primitive practices of worship. At the risk of oversimplifying, the church always knew how to speak to God. Yet it took four centuries or so to work out how to speak about God in ways that were compatible with this.” (Page 33)

Jason S. Sexton earned his PhD from the University of St. Andrews and is a minister in the Evangelical Free Church of America. He is the author of The Trinitarian Theology of Stanley J. Grenz.


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